As currently constituted, the Citizens Review Board, which is suppose to provide oversight of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in cases of alleged police misconduct, is simply useless. Under the rules it currently operates under:
The CRB may hold an appeals hearing only when it appears, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, that the disposition of the disciplinary charges entered by the Chief of Police constituted an abuse of discretion by the Chief of Police.
In other words, the person filing a complaint must present evidence to the CRB to get a hearing that it’s more likely than not that the discipline imposed on an officer was grossly inadequate. How a common citizen is suppose to come by such evidence is unclear and is reflected by citizens going 0 for 79 before the review board with most cases disposed of without the board even holding a hearing.
Now comes word that a task force is recommending that the CRB process can be improved by communicating better with the public and publishing its rulings. Er, no. There are only two meaningful options: Either lower the threshold to trigger a hearing while also giving the board greater investigative authority or abolishing the CRB as a waste of time.